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Old 03-14-2013, 06:32 PM   #1
dierythmus
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Default Cold Crashing Questions

I’m close to racking my finished NB Dead Ringer extract brew. For the first time, I skipped the secondary and dry hopped in the primary.

I’ve never cold crashed anything before, and I had some questions. Am I correct in that the overall goal of cold crashing is to pull the “stuff” in suspension to the bottom of the fermenter? That way, I can rack a “clearer” beer from the top of the fermenter into my corny?

Is there a prime temperature for cold crashing? I don’t have a fridge big enough to put the primary into, but I have an enclosed shed in my backyard. Over the next few days it looks like the temperature will fluctuate between high 40’s during the day and mid 20’s at night. Is the temperature fluctuation a bad thing? Do I risk freezing my beer? If this is the case, should I simply not cold crash?



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Old 03-14-2013, 06:39 PM   #2
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The purpose of cold crashing is to cause suspended yeast to go dormant and sink to bottom.

I recently did an experiment where I cold crashed a batch outside on an enclosed mudroom area where temps ranged from low 40's to mid teens at night.

I checked on the beer regularly to make sure it was not freezing and the thermometer on the carboy registered an even 36 degrees for almost a week.
Crystal clear beer.

A second batch that I did a week later did not get cold crashed but instead added 1 packet gelatin dissolved in 1 cup boiled water and that beer was also crystal clear.

Both used same yeast WYEAST 1056 american ale and I would say that the gelatin beer was as clear, if not more clear than the cold crashed one.

I thought about third experiment where gelatin and cold crash were used but I do not see the point. How much more "clear" can a beer get if it is almost impossible to see any suspended stuff in either beer.



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Old 03-14-2013, 06:44 PM   #3
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Yes the point is to drop yeast and other stuff out of beer leaving a clearer product.

Ideal temp is around 34*F. You want it as cold as possible without freezing it. You should be ok to do it in your shed. The fluctuation won't bother the process much but may not get it as clear as a low constant temp, and the large volume will help keep it from freezing. If you are concerned about freezing, put a small bottle/glass of water next to your beer and if you see it freezing, get your beer someplace warmer.

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:46 PM   #4
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Thanks all.

After i crash, Do I rack to the keg at the cold temp, or do I let it warm back up before racking?

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Old 03-15-2013, 01:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewkinger View Post
The purpose of cold crashing is to cause suspended yeast to go dormant and sink to bottom.

I recently did an experiment where I cold crashed a batch outside on an enclosed mudroom area where temps ranged from low 40's to mid teens at night.

I checked on the beer regularly to make sure it was not freezing and the thermometer on the carboy registered an even 36 degrees for almost a week.
Crystal clear beer.

A second batch that I did a week later did not get cold crashed but instead added 1 packet gelatin dissolved in 1 cup boiled water and that beer was also crystal clear.

Both used same yeast WYEAST 1056 american ale and I would say that the gelatin beer was as clear, if not more clear than the cold crashed one.

I thought about third experiment where gelatin and cold crash were used but I do not see the point. How much more "clear" can a beer get if it is almost impossible to see any suspended stuff in either beer.
You may be surprise at the amount of particulate that remains in a cold crashed beer that the additional gelatin step will drop to the bottom of your keg. I'm not stating it is "better" to take the additional step. I'm suggesting you take your experiment one step further and see the results for yourself.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:24 PM   #6
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You may be surprise at the amount of particulate that remains in a cold crashed beer that the additional gelatin step will drop to the bottom of your keg. I'm not stating it is "better" to take the additional step. I'm suggesting you take your experiment one step further and see the results for yourself.
Ironically enough, after I posted that, the scientist in me forced me to continue with the experimentation process.

So, on a related tangential thought (I do apologize to OP) although this is along the same topic.

Does cold crashing and gelatin usage cause a problem by not allowing enough yeast into the bottle to finish carbonation?

I ask this because it seems that my beer is not carbonating well enough. It has been in bottles for close to 3 weeks at high 60's and it seems to me that it could be more carbonated.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewkinger View Post
Ironically enough, after I posted that, the scientist in me forced me to continue with the experimentation process.

So, on a related tangential thought (I do apologize to OP) although this is along the same topic.

Does cold crashing and gelatin usage cause a problem by not allowing enough yeast into the bottle to finish carbonation?

I ask this because it seems that my beer is not carbonating well enough. It has been in bottles for close to 3 weeks at high 60's and it seems to me that it could be more carbonated.
I can not speak to weather is does or does not, I have never used gelatin for a bottle conditioned beer. I started kegging somewhere about batch 5-6 at about the same time I began the addition of gelatin to my process.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewkinger

Ironically enough, after I posted that, the scientist in me forced me to continue with the experimentation process.

So, on a related tangential thought (I do apologize to OP) although this is along the same topic.

Does cold crashing and gelatin usage cause a problem by not allowing enough yeast into the bottle to finish carbonation?

I ask this because it seems that my beer is not carbonating well enough. It has been in bottles for close to 3 weeks at high 60's and it seems to me that it could be more carbonated.
I've heard it can take marginally longer to bottle condition, but you certainly can NOT remove ALL the yeast from suspension. It will still bottle carb, just a little slower.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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I've heard it can take marginally longer to bottle condition, but you certainly can NOT remove ALL the yeast from suspension. It will still bottle carb, just a little slower.
Essentially what i was thinking since no one has ever mentioned it on the forum and this is where I have gotten 60% of my beer brewing knowledge.

Thanks again to forum!
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:28 PM   #10
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OP here - quick update:

I was able to fit my primary in my spare fridge, where I cold crashed (for the first time) for about 48 hours. I racked from the top to my keg and WOW - the amount of gunk on the bottom of the primary was insane. As I was racking, I was watching the nice clear beer flow through the auto-siphon. What a difference it made so far. Can't wait to pull a clear pint!



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